Kanarraville is a small town about 6 miles south of Cedar City resting at 5525 feet. We are staying at Red Ledge RV Park, a wonderful campground run by Gayle who is the best. This is an excellent jumping off point for Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and other outstanding locations, such as, Kanarra Falls.
Kanarra Falls Trail begins about 4 blocks from Red Ledge Campground. Katie and I took off on foot to walk the trail up to the first of two water falls. On the internet somewhere it describes the trail as an moderate 1.3 mile trail to the first waterfall with wonderful picture opportunities; however, at the trail head the sign says “difficult, take food and water, beware of rattlesnakes, wear proper footwear, common injuries include broken ankles and legs, walking in the water is required, and no dogs”. Not to be deterred by a simple sign, Katie and I discussed this for a moment and decided to go right ahead.
The trail beginning is actually a small dirt road that leads up to the towns water supply. There are a couple of water crossings then the trail turns vicious. In reality, the trail is not marked and people have make many side trails. Walking in the creek would have been the easiest way except the ongoing snow melt and recent rains have made the creek pretty full. So with Katie in the lead, we took what looked like the most used path. This deteriorated to the point of the path being walking on the 3 inch water pipe exposed along the cliff wall about 30 feet above the creek.
Katie was determined, pulling me along, looking back at me as if to say “come on,…1.3 miles, hump!, how tough can that be”? That was when we ran into 3 young women coming down the trail, one being carried on the back of the other due to injury. This event did cast some darkness on our plan to continue on. Katie did seem to be a little hesitant at that point, but a couple of hard pulls on the leash got her going again.
After a short water crossing there was a long level walk to (yes, wait for it!) a fork in the path. No markings, just one path that went across a deep rapids and the other headed straight up the cliff. Pondering this and heeding Katie’s advise (no effing way am I going in that s…), we started climbing up the other trail. It was tough going. I had to keep grabbing roots and taking hand holds in the rocks (my mind kept flashing back to the sign about the rattlesnakes). As we neared the top, the view ahead took on an ominous portent as the trail seemed to have a clear cut off at the skyline. What could be on the other side? Straight down a sand stone out cropping to the water.
Did I mention that as of yet we had not seen the water fall. Reluctantly we turned back to the much harder descent. Stumbling back onto level ground at the fork in the trail found us in the company of a nice young couple proceeding up the trail. I was hoping they might have some local knowledge of the trail. They were hoping I knew the way. Ah well, I watched them hop, skip, jump, and splash their way to the other side and wished them well.
Katie and I stood there for a moment and pondered on the thought processes that took us beyond the sign. We headed home in semi-defeat. Although, I take solace in the beautiful views and the fact that Katie actually walked through the stream on her own. My how brave she has become!
So that is the story that pictures tell. Hope you enjoy them.